Lahore: An elegant lady reaches the National Accountability Bureau’s investigations cell on October 14th, goes inside and comes out an hour later after meeting her husband and leaves silently. After reaching home, she starts a string of tweets about how her husband was allegedly being treated in the NAB’s lockup.
She is Tehmina Durrani, the third wife of Shahbaz, and the author of the book ‘My Feudal Lord’. In her tweets, she tried to establish that her husband is an innocent person and being mistreated by the NAB officials.
Her first tweet on October 14th says,
“Today, 8 days after my husband Shahbaz Sharif was arrested by NAB, I was finally allowed to meet him. I have returned home appalled. He lives in a dingy 10 by 10 cell with an exhaust fan, & not a crack in the concrete for fresh air or a ray of light! There is no concept of day & night!”
In the second tweet, she said,
“He has to repeatedly hit the huge lock on a barred door for the jailer to hear him & come with keys to take him to the public toilet, be it in the middle of the night. There is no air-conditioner & no newspaper but there many mosquitos which have left many red bites! He is taken for a walk in a corridor.”
In another tweet she claimed that the NAB authorities had not allowed his lawyers to meet him.
NAB had arrested Shahbaz Sharif on October 5th in Ashiana I Iqbal Scheme, a housing scheme for low income segments of society when he went to NAB’s office to attend an inquiry about Saaf Pani clean water case. The NAB Court, next day had taken him into their custody for a 10-day remand.
Against the claims of Ms Durrani, a well informed NAB’s official told Truth Tracker, on condition of anonymity,
“Most of Ms Durrani’s allegations are baseless. Shahbaz is being kept in a clean lockup with very hygienic conditions.”
He continued, “A team of doctors is always on call for his regular checkup. He walks regularly in corridors as he cannot go any further because of security reasons.”
Regarding the allegation of not providing proper bathroom he said, “The washroom or public toilet issue is also misleading because he has a washroom in his cell”
As for Shabaz’s health he added. “Not that, we are treating him like a very important person or giving him protocol. But, we have to take care of his health.”
Further adding He said, “His servants bring food from home daily which is provided to him. Recently, his sons and other family members also come and meet him. Recently, Hamza Shahbaz brought some books for him.” The official said that he is given several newspapers daily.
Another NAB official gave a logical response towards the claims saying, “How can we mistreat him? He is opposition leader and can raise this issue on the floor of National Assembly.”
Shahbaz Sharif’s lawyer Azam Nazir Tarar told Truth Tracker, “Shahbaz;s arrest itself is a mistreatment and violation of law as his arrest warrants for issued on October 2th and were kept secret to deprive him of his right to get pre-arrest bail. ”
He said that the former chief minister has been fully cooperating with the investigators in all inquiries before his arrest. “It is victimization in the name of accountability,” said Tarar.
The PML-N leadership accused the government and NAB of having planned to arrest Shahbaz before the country’s biggest by-elections on October 14th. Prime Minister Imran Khan in a presser at Lahore a day after Shahbaz’s arrest, said, “His government wants NAB to work independently. If I had any influence on NAB, Shahbaz Sharif would have been arrested months ago.”